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First, I want to thank those that have “liked” my posts and entered an email address to “follow me.”  I suspect some of you know how hard it is to get a readership and I sure appreciate your thoughtfulness. You know who you are!

If you will recall, I mentioned earlier that I had been working on packaging some of the products that I am selling in my Etsy shop.  Also, I got all the shipping details worked out over the weekend.  I also made my first sale on Etsy (woohoo!) so I was very motivated to get this process in motion.  Opening a shop on Etsy and starting a blog has been rewarding, but there is a learning curve.  I hope you enjoy taking this journey with me.

I thought you might be interested in some of the tools I use for creating my packaging.  I love the crossover between paper crafting and quilting.  I wasn’t even aware of all the paper crafting tools until I listened to Within A Quarter Inch podcast, by Alison Rosen.  Sadly, Alison is no longer recording this podcast as she is focusing on the SeamedUp community.

One day while shopping at JoAnn’s, I picked up a Fiskars Donna Dewberry Fabric Strip Cutter.  I’m a gadget girl, so I am liable to try anything if I have a 40% off coupon for JoAnn’s.  I tried it for fabric and it did a good job, but I put it away and sort of forgot about it since I have so many other ways to cut fabric.  While cutting chipboard for the backing of my key fob package, I was trying to think of a better way to cut.  I was using a quilting ruler and rotary cutter and this just didn’t seem that efficient (and kind of dangerous).  I thought about having a custom die made for my Sizzix Big Shot Pro machine, but that seemed like a lot of waste of the chipboard.  Then I remembered this purple cutter.  It cuts through the chipboard like nobody’s business.  Sometimes it takes a couple of passes, but it is fast and accurate.  One thing that helps with the accuracy is the fact that there are magnets that hold the cutting bar down, so the item you are cutting does not move and obviously the cutting edge does not move, because it is attached to the cutter.  The blade is protected and is easy to push down.   It worked so well that I am going to cut fabric with it the next time I have a strip cutting project. Well, you ask, doesn’t chipboard dull the blade of the cutter?  Yes, my dear, it does.  But that brings me to my next handy dandy find.

The TrueCut Rotary Blade Sharpener is fabulous!  I hate buying new blades for my rotary cutters, but I love it when my rotary cutters cut fabric like cutting butter with a hot knife.  I bought this and forgot I had it, until I started cutting the chipboard and thought I ought to change the blade.  Then I remembered that I had purchased this and got it out and set it up.  It was simple to use.  Just oil the stones, insert your blade and in one minute you have a sharp rotary cutter blade.  It couldn’t be easier!  I bought mine online at The Grace Company.

The next cutting tools that I love are these Martha Stewart crafting tools:  the screw punch and border punches.  I have not tried either of these products on fabric, but they are great for paper and I have seen Martha use the screw punch on woven wool fabric on her show. It comes with several dies for different size holes.  Mine got a little hard to punch, but I used one drop of sewing machine oil on the shaft of the punch and that did the trick.  I’m not into scrapbooking or card making.  I tried it, but I have too many fabric projects on my “to do” list.  So using the border punches in my product packaging is fun.  I love the sound the punch makes when penetrating the card stock.  I’m I nutty, or what?  I bet there are some of you that get the same satisfaction.

Although I love the new die cutting systems (Accuquilt and Sizzix) for cutting fabric, nothing beats cutting fabric strips than the Alto’s Cutting System.  It is fast and accurate.  I discussed this system in my blog post on January 1, 2012.  I will discuss the die cutting systems in a future post.

Remember, the end result is wonderful, but the pleasure is in the process ~ Lora